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Monday, March 21, 2016

Productive Weekend

Productive weekend. Lots of writing and sketching.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Rainy Day and A Peek into Painting Process

NOTE: For those interested in the painting process, read on! If you find reading about the technicalities of painting boring, DON'T READ ON! Enjoy the rainy day picture.

Okay, if you're still with me, awesome. So I consciously set out to do two things with this painting:
  1. Create textures
  2. Play more with opaque and transparent paints
To address the first point, over the past couple years, I moved away from any watercolor paints that "granulate" (meaning paints whose pigments are a large particle size). I did this because these granulating paints make horrible flat washes, especially on hot press watercolor paper (the paper on which I draw and paint). What can be even worse is that these pigments can be lifted more easily from the paper especially after painting multiple washes. So in general, I avoid these paints like the plague.

Having said that, their granulating nature can be an advantage, especially if texture IS desired. So for this painting, I painted all my colors with some mixture of Schminke's Ultramarine Finest, a blue with the least amount of granulation compared to other brands. (I LOVE ultramarine blue's color too). In the painting above, it lent itself well to the stormy sky where it's okay to be messy. This is one way to introduce texture.

Granulating colors that I find lend themselves well to creating texture are ultramarine blue (used above), cobalts blue and green, cerulean blue (a definite texture), iron oxides in found often in black, brown, and yellow pigments, and cadmiums red and yellow.

The second venture was playing more with opaque vs. transparent paint. I wanted to explore going back and forth more between painting gouache and watercolor. One reason is to explore more textures (see the roof on the house), but another reason is to build upon the painting itself. A popular notion in oil painting is "fat over lean" where one paints thin layers of paint first, and as you continue layering, you add more paint to each layer. A similar idea can be applied to watercolors where once a few layers of watercolor are applied, you can go over those areas  with gouache. One reason could be to create a fully deeper color. Another could be to paint a completely new shape over the area.

I did the latter with the trees in this painting where I added pro white to my watercolor paints to make more opaque. Also, with the nifty tool of liquid frisket (masking fluid), you are able to create negative shapes in the painting.

The ability to go back and forth with opaque and transparent watercolors makes painting for me a real joy. The rainy day picture is mostly successful I'll say, and I'll probably continue exploring these avenues in future work.

Note1: For those looking to research further into watercolor paints themselves (like the granulating colors I explained), definitely visit handprint. This website will go into crazy detail about every aspect of watercolor painting which is almost scientific. I love talking shop like this.

Note2: A lot of this can be accomplished in Photoshop given brush presets (and the nifty command+Z!), but the same ideas apply.

Phew! Thanks for sticking to the end. Signing out.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016